Kitwara Wins Peachtree Ahead Of Controversy

40th AJC Peachtree Road Race

Post-race protest changes order of top ten men’s finishers.

Kenyan Sammy Kitwara (27:22 PR) took the early lead and never reliquished it on his way to winning his fifth consecutive road race this year at the 40th AJC Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta, Geo, Sunday.  On the women’s side

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it was favorite Lineth Chepkurui, also of Kenya, who took the first prize in personal best 31:31.  Chepkurui and Kitwara each took home $15,000 first place prizes and split the bonus purse of $35,000 for winning the Professional Road Running Organization championship.

There was an additional race within the race as Peachtree also served as the US men’s 10k championship, hosted by the Atlanta Track Club.  Taking the title for the second consecutive year was 2008 Olympian Abdi Abdirahman(28:11), placing sixth overall.  Rounding out the podium for the US championship was fellow Olympian Anthony Famiglietti (8th, 28:15) and US 20k champion James Carney (9th, 28:19).  Abdi picked up a nice $10,000 bonus for winning the US championship.

Although the race has gone smoothly for 40 years now, it was not without controversy on its ruby anniversary.  Original fourth-place finisher Tadese Tola of Ethiopia reportedly elbowed fifth-place finisher Boaz Cheboiywo of Kenya in the final meters of the race.  Cheboiywo filed a protest, which was confirmed and Tola was subsequently disqualified for violating the USATF obstruction rule.  The rule states that one runner cannot impede another runner purposely during competition.  Tola has since denied that he purposely obstructed Cheboiywo but he did not get in his own appeal within the 24-hour allotted window.  Cheboiywo has been officially given fourth-place and every runner behind him has been moved up one spot accordingly.

Video of the disputed finish courtesy of Atlanta Journal Constitution

For More: Atlanta Journal Constitution Coverage

For More: USATF Recap

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